By Wayne Veysey

7th Dec, 2021 | 4:00pm

Everton source: Calvert-Lewin played key role in senior man's exit after bust-up

Dominic Calvert-Lewin was at the heart of the Everton discord that led to the exit of medical chief Danny Donachie last month, Football Insider can reveal.

Donachie headed out of Goodison Park after a fall-out with manager Rafael Benitez that began over the fitness of the club’s star striker.

An Everton source has told Football Insider that Benitez put “huge” pressure on Donachie to give the all-clear for Calvert-Lewin to feature in Premier League fixtures in September.

But the club’s former director of medical services resisted and made clear to the manager the 24-year-old was not fit to play.

It led to a sustained fall-out between the pair that ended with Donachie parting company with Everton last month.

Benitez initially thought Calvert-Lewin could make a quick recovery from a fractured toe and thigh injury.

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But the England international has now been out over three months and was once again absent from the Everton squad for Monday’s 2-1 win over Arsenal at Goodison Park.

Calvert-Lewin has now missed the club’s last 12 Premier League matches.

He had begun the season, and the Benitez era, in sensational form with goals in each of the club’s opening three league games – wins over Southampton, Leeds United and Brighton.

His absence coincided with a severe downturn in Everton’s results that has led to power struggles and bloodletting behind the scenes.

Marcel Brands was sacked as director of football on Sunday night and, as revealed by Football Insider yesterday (6 December), Benitez also wants head of recruitment Gretar Rafn Steinsson out ahead of the January window.

In other news, Everton could sack another senior man as bloodletting intensifies behind the scenes.